Hush, Y’all: It’s Time for the FedEx St. Jude Classic
The FedEx St. Jude Classic has something that no other stop on the PGA tour can claim: volunteers stationed at every hole, waving purple signs that read “Hush, y’all.”
The signs, which are a tradition at the 54 year-old annual tournament, are highly effective. It was a little strange (and quite amazing) to hear how quiet a huge mass of people could be during yesterday’s pro-am.
The pro-am was one of the events leading up to the PGA tournament game that starts today and runs through Sunday afternoon. The organizers of the event described it as a “fantasy experience”, a chance for average Joe golfers to play alongside pros and celebrities (including Tim Tebow, Phil Donahue and Anfernee Hardaway).
Most importantly, though, the FedEx St. Jude Classic is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Last year, the event raised about half a million dollars for the hospital.
Reminders of the cause are constant. People who live along the course have hung “We (heart) St. Jude! banners from their balconies. At the eleventh hole, St. Jude patients served as caddies for the golfers. The real caddies selected clubs and passed them to a child who delivered them to the golfers. It was seriously adorable watching the players interact with the kids, talking to them, passing out high fives and showing them how to putt a few balls.
There was a surprising amount of interaction between the players and the fans sitting in the spectator boxes and lining the ropes. The amateurs joked about their shots, the pros signed autographs, and Phil Donahue cracked a joke on the 12th hole that all of the spectators were “a lot thinner in person”.
Since the FedEx St. Jude Classic was my first ever golf tournament, I turned to Twitter for advice before I headed to the course. Some recommended staying quiet during the backswings and packing sunscreen. Others suggested visiting the public watering holes (like the Hub and the Michelob Ultra 19th hole). My favorite suggestion came from @tincup83: “1st- don’t talk during a swing. 2nd – if someone yells FORE, duck. 3rd – find a nice shade tree and watch the masters at work.”
If you’re heading to Southwind this weekend, here are a few of my recommendations:
1. Sunscreen is a must.
2. Sit at the 18th hole – that way, you can see everyone playing finish their game rather. Plus, there’s plenty of shady seating.
3. Leave your phone on silent and your camera at home.
4. Get a Pronto Pup from the fanciest Pronto Pup dispensary ever. Regular ones are $3, and foot longs are $5.
The FedEx St. Jude Classic PGA tournament is June 4-10, 2018. A single-day ticket is $40 at the gate, and parking is $5.
3325 Club at Southwind
Memphis, TN 38125-8832